quality : lossless (2007, flac, cue, log, scans)
time: 52'03" size: 387 mb
Al Stewart's second album is most renowned for the 18-minute title track, an autobiographical recount of different love affairs with guitar by Jimmy Page. That track was also quite controversial for its day in its use of the word "f*cking" at one point in the lyrics, though that's not typical of the tone of the composition. It's actually not the best of the six songs on the record, which saw Stewart wisely discard the orchestration of his debut in favor of fairly straight-ahead folk-rock backing. "Ballad of Mary Foster" is Stewart's best early song, as a two-part suite neatly divided between brusque cynical commentary on a bourgeois English family and the introspective musings of the ravaged wife. That second part bears considerable similarity in melody and tempo, incidentally, to sections of the far more famous Stewart song "Roads to Moscow." The rest of the album has additional solid vignettes in the standard gentle yet detached Stewart mold, the best of them being "Life and Life Only," which exploits his knack for insistent, repetitive minor-keyed hooks. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
"Old Compton Street Blues"
"The Ballad of Mary Foster"
"Life and Life Only" Side B:
"You Should Have Listened To Al"
07. Jackdaw 3:20
08. She Follows Her Own Rules 3:19
09. Fantasy 2:15
Al Stewart - vocals, guitar
Jimmy Page - guitar on "Love Chronicles"
Simon Breckenridge (pseudonym for Simon Nicol) - guitar
Mervyn Prestwyck (pseudonym for Richard Thompson) - guitar
Brian Brocklehurst (pseudonym for Ashley Hutchins) - bass
Harvey Burns - drums
Martyn Francis - drums
Brian Odgers - bass
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